Plant Based Snacking- Affordable and Feasible
plant based snacking

Plant Based Snacking- Affordable and Feasible

The "I Can't Afford to Eat Healthy" Farce

“I can’t eat afford to eat healthy,”  or “produce is way too expensive.” The idea that all healthy foods correspond with an elevated price tag has plagued many American’s march to better health for decades. Good news coming to you- plant based snacking will keep pennies in your pocket and produce on your plate!

The popular misconception of processed is for people pinching pennies is  an unfortunate one. While it is true that many calorie dense foods like chips, candy bars, soda, and boxed meals can be low dollar, it is not true that many nutrient rich foods cannot also fall into this category. Plants have power- on the plate and for the bank. 

Plant Based Snacking Pro-Tips

  • Start with what you have.  Rummage the fridge and then shop for the missing pieces. 
  • Keep it simple. If it takes longer than five minutes in my opinion its not a snack its a chore!
  • Keep basics on hand. Especially non-perishables and seasonings (nuts, seeds, frozen fruit)
  • Don’t buy more than you’ll use.  That being said, if you buy more use more! 
  • Chop things up as soon as they enter your home (broccoli, carrots, anything that can keep).  That way they are ready for a quick snack. 
  • Portion out produce for quick grab and go so it’s the first thing you see when you open the fridge. 
bruscetta with green avocado spread and snap peas
bruscetta bread topped with avocado hummus and sugar snap peas
apple slices dipped in hemp seeds with chocolate drizzle
apple slices dipped in peanut butter and hemp seeds with chocolate drizzle plant based snacking

Easy Plant Based Snacking

  •  peanuts 1oz [$0.07] + apple 1 small [=0.59]

      Total snacking cost = [$0.66]

  • Roasted Chick Peas ¼ cup [$0.24] add cayenne pepper, chili powder, or garlic powder for flavor. Toss in olive oil and bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes.

     Total snacking cost = [$0.24]  

  • Vegan Caprese Cakes rice cakes [$0.26] with hummus 2 oz [$0.60] with roma tomato slices [$0.20] fresh basil & balsamic drizzle.

     Total snacking cost= [$1.26]

  • Chips and Fresh Salsa 4 tomato, cilantro, 1-2 jalapeno, 1 onion, 1 cup cilantro, 3-4 cloves garlic fresh lime juice. Pulse in blender until desired consistency achieved. 

       Total snacking cost = [$0.79]

  • Apple slices [$0.59] dipped in peanut butter [$0.50] dipped in hemp seeds [$0.25] Drizzle with chocolate

       Total snacking Cost: $1.35

plant based chia seed pudding with pineapple and strawberry topping snack
chia pudding with fruit and chocolate
Veggie Stuffed avocado
stuffed avocado

Creativity With Beans, Seeds and Potato Plant Based Snacking

  •  Baked Sweet Potato Bites Sliced baked sweet potato (toss in olive oil, bake at 350 degrees for 15 min) [$0.60] + 1 tbsp avocado hummus[=0.59]+ sliced cherry tomato[$0.15]. Top with cilantro.

      Total snacking cost = [$1.34]

  • Chia Seed Pudding  Chia seeds 3 tbsp ($0.15) 1 cup almond milk [$0.20] mix or shake in mason jar, let sit for 5 minutes, repeat add honey, maple syrup or chocolate for extra sweetness Strawberry [$0.15] mango [$0.15] coconut flakes [0.15]   add more or less chia for desired consistency. Blend to change texture 

     Total snacking cost = [$0.80]  

  • Triscuit (6) [$0.15] with garlic avocado spread 4oz [$0.60](chopped garlic or garlic powder. Mash with avocado and lime juice)

     Total snacking cost= [$0.75]

  • Hummus 2oz [$0.60] + baby carrots ½ cup [$0.19]

       Total snacking cost = [$0.79]C

  • Popcorn (air popped) 3 cups [$0.20]  add nutritional yeast [$0.15], garlic powder or hot sauce for a more savory flavor.

           Total snacking Cost: $0.35

  • Veggie Stuffed Avocado 

           Total snacking Cost: $1.50

Mini Meal Plant Based Snacking

  • Healthy Veggie Pizza: Whole wheat English muffin                        [$0.17] Topped with: 2 tbsp low-tomato sauce [$0.25] + diced bell pepper [$0.25] + mushroom [$0.25]. + 1 oz diya cheese$0.20

       Total snacking cost = [$1.12]

  • Peanut Butter/Fruit Pockets: ½ pita pocket $0.39 Natural Peanut butter mixed with cinnamon 2oz [0.40] 1 medium Banana sliced [$0.30]

     Total Snacking Cost [$1.09]

  • Nuts & Seeds Rice Cakes: Rice cakes[$0.26] Topped with: 2 Tbsp peanut butter[$0.15] + pumpkin seeds [$0.25] + pomegranate seeds  [$0.25]. 

       Total snacking cost = [$0.91]

  • Peanut Butter/Fruit Pockets: ½ pita pocket $0.39 Natural Peanut butter mixed with cinnamon 2oz [0.40] 1 medium Banana sliced [$0.30]

     Total Snacking Cost [$1.09]

  • Fruit Smoothie: 1 cup almond milk [$0.25] 1/2 cup vegan yogurt [$0.25] 1 small banana [$0.60] 1/2 cup frozen strawberry [$0.20] 1/2 cup frozen mango [$0.20] 1/2-1 cup water
      Total Snacking Cost [$1.50]
  • Pomegranate Avocado Toast: 1 Whole wheat bread [$0.25] 1/2 avocado [$0.50] pomegranate pieces [$0.25]
      Total Snacking Cost [$1.00]
nut and seed rice cake plant based snacking
rice cakes with peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate seeds
pomegranate avocado toast
pomegranate avocado toast

A Smidge of Dairy Plant Based Snacks

  • Candied Beets: Sliced cooked beets [$0.50] topped with candied walnuts (brown in butter and brown sugar in skillet)[$0.50] and feta sprinkle [$0.25]   

     Total snacking cost: [$1.25] 

  • Roasted Parmesan Cherry Tomato [$0.85]  parmesan [$0.25] Toss in olive oil and Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Total snacking cost: [$1.10]                

purple beets with candied walnuts and feta snack plant based
red beats with candied walnuts and feta
green and red fresh salsa in blender
fresh salsa

Compare Unit Prices To Save Money on Plant Based Snacking


There are a few things to consider when comparing nutrient density of foods like fruits/veggies to the price tag of convenience foods like chips. One is that because foods like potato chips are shelf stable, we often subconsciously perceive them at a higher value. A lot of this has to do with convenience rather than the actual price tag. When we simply compare unit to unit plant based snacking is very economical! 

Another variable to consider when examining convenience vs. nutrient dense foods is that in the examples above I compared unit prices.

Often convenience items are sold in single serving packages, especially in vending machines and convenience stores. When we actually compare unit prices, the healthy choices are often times even cheaper than convenience choices with little nutritious value.

One of the best methods for staying supermarket savvy and indulge to your fullest with plant based snacking is to start with a plant based grocery list. You can get even more affordable than the examples listed above if you shop in season or at farmers market. The possibilities for improving your healthy snacking are limitless!

©2019 Shenajaramillord.peaceandnutrition

Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian
Latest posts by Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian (see all)

Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian

Hi I'm Shena. I believe in choosing plants first, honoring your hunger, and that a little humor goes a long way.

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